Locust plague threatens Somalia and eastern Africa

The United Nations have warned that a locust outbreak in Somalia may turn into a locust plague as the insect spreads across the region.


NSFW    GAROWE, SOMALIA — The U.N. has warned that Somalia and the rest of east Africa may soon be facing a severe locust plague.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says that young locusts are threatening pastures and crops in Somalia. The insects are said to threaten more than 10 million people in the region.

These young locusts are expected to mature and develop wings in the coming weeks. They are then expected to make their way to Ethiopia and Kenya.

Somalia has become the first country in east Africa to declare an emergency over locust infestation, BBC News reports.

Kenya and Ethiopia are already taking precautionary measures by using planes to spray pesticides to prevent a locust outbreak.

The locust outbreak follows a period of unusually heavy rains and a powerful cyclone off the coast of Somalia at the end of 2019, the Associated Press reports, citing climate experts.

According to the report, more rains are expected in the next few weeks. This means that the number of locusts could increase.

Dominique Burgeon, the Food and Agriculture Organization's emergency and resilience director, explained another generation of the insect could now even be born in regular moisture conditions due to the high density of locusts.

He said that without enough planes spraying to stop the locust swarms, the outbreak may even turn into a plague, which could take years to control.
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